Bergen County Divorce Modifications Lawyer
The terms of a divorce settlement are based on conditions in the lives of the spouses at the point in time their marriage ended. What happens when a spouse believes the life has changed in a way that render the settlement terms impractical or unfair? The state of New Jersey allows for a settlement to be changed under certain circumstances. Our Bergen County divorce modifications lawyer can provide good counsel about whether those circumstances exist in a particular case, and how to go about getting the desired changes.
TMO Law Firm serves clients in the counties of Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris, and Hudson, and throughout northern New Jersey. Our partners have over 75 years of combined experience working on divorce cases.
The prospects for obtaining a change to the original settlement will depend on what aspect of the agreement modification is being sought. Changing the terms of child custody is something that might be sought if one gets a better job or enters a new relationship that is significantly further away. Changing custody terms is possible, but doing so without the consent of the other spouse requires putting forth significant evidence that the change is in the best interests of the child. Our Bergen County divorce modifications attorney can provide advice based on the unique circumstances of each individual case.
Spousal support (alimony) and child support are other areas where a change might be requested. Perhaps the paying spouse has lost a job. Or maybe the financial needs of the child have gone up, putting a custodial spouse in need.
A judge that reviews a modification request will want to see the reason driving that request represents a “significant change of circumstances.” Not all changes in our lives are significant. A spouse might lose one job, but be reasonably able to anticipate finding a new one where compensation is comparable. A child might have modestly higher expenses due to increased extracurricular activities. It’s possible that these changes would not be significant enough to merit a change.
But what if the spouse paying alimony was working as a high-level corporate executive and the company downsized? Yes, they will likely find another job, but the income may be substantially less. Or what if the reason a child’s expenses have gone up is that a significant medical condition has been discovered? These are the kinds of changes that are significant.
Are you going through a significant change in circumstances that could necessitate modifying your settlement?
Don’t Act Alone
It’s imperative that spouses not act contrary to the terms of their settlement agreement until changes are ratified by a New Jersey family law judge. We know there are plenty of situations where ex-spouses have developed a reasonably amicable relationship with each other. It’s possible that one spouse might be agreeable to helping the other out. That’s terrific, but the right response is always to continue adhering to the original terms until a court says otherwise.
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The partners at TMO Law Firm have been working on all facets of divorce settlements, including modifications, for a combined total of 75 years. They can give spouses good advice on when changes are appropriate and how to get them.